ExxonMobil Says It Has Fulfilled Obligations For PNG LNG Project

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Disputes between government and landowners not with the company

By Jeffrey Elapa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 23, 2015) – The developer of the PNG LNG project ExxonMobil said it has fulfilled all its obligations and was not a party to disagreements over benefits under the Oil and Gas Act between the state and the landowners.

In a recent statement, Exxon Mobil said it has honoured all its commitments to the state under the Oil and Gas Act ad that it was unfortunate and concern that the true landowner have not benefited .

The developer said after the Hides landowners have threatened to shut the upstream gas project site including the processing facility at Hide 4 In the Hela province after the State failed to honor all of its commitment as per the Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreements and the Landowner Benefit Sharing Agreements.

The landowners have given the state 7 days’ notice through a petition but have decided to give the state few more weeks to study the petition to respond to their petitions.

It is understood most of the benefits are parked in a trust account awaiting the completion of clan vetting and landowner identification.

However a consent order was obtain preventing the department of Petroleum and Energy to deal with an LNG issues to allow the ADR process to be completed.

However the landowners have stated in the petition to the state that they do not want the ADR process to do the work of clan vetting and landowner identification program.

However the statement by ExxonMobil stated that it was monitoring the situation as it would affect the project.

"ExxonMobil is continuing to monitor the situation. We are concerned that benefits associated with this project have not yet been received by the true landowners and encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve the issue. ExxonMobil would like to assure landowners that it has honoured its responsibilities under the Oil and Gas Act and project agreements. Royalties are being paid into a government nominated trust account with the Bank of PNG while the government finalises their landowners identification processes. MRDC also continues to equity dividends from the PNG LNG project. We encourage anyone with concerns to contact the department of Petroleum and Energy and MRDC," ExxonMobil said in a statement.

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